by Ben Catley
OK, so after I had this all written, and set to post at a certain time, it would be helpful to not to change the year. Better late than never, I guess. So now that I have figured that out … let’s not hide all of this until next year, shall we. Especially this part …
36 days until Opening Night at home, 32 days until Opening Day in Billings Continue reading
by Ben Catley
Charles Brewer is going to get the chance to play that role of “I’m Major League Worthy” in a different location now. He’s gone from his days as a member of the Missoula Osprey in 2009, to getting a chance in South Bend and Visalia in 2010, and pitching in Mobile both in 2011, and at the start of the 2012 season. But now, Brewer has another stop – at Triple-A Reno – to show that he is ready for the ultimate stage.
The promotion was among a series of moves made by the Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend, and included another former Osprey, who was here a shorter amount of time than nearly any other former Osprey this side of Daniel Taylor. Continue reading
So we’re drawing close – 34 days before the home opener, 32 days before the season gets underway, and 20 days before the MLB First-Year Player Draft.
– Bobby Borchering (2009) had a big day at the plate to support Major League pitcher Zach Duke – who was in Visalia on a rehab assignment – in a rout of Rancho Cucamonga. More on this one in the Minor League recap below.
– While Miguel Montero (2002-03) has been solid most of the season at the plate for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Gerardo Parra continues to get better. Both had a huge hand in a win on Tuesday for the D-backs. Parra drove in a pair of runs in the victory, but it was Montero’s RBI double that snapped a 1-1 tie in a 6-1 win.
– Speaking of Parra (2006), with the two hits he collected in the D-backs’ 5-4, 11-inning win over Atlanta on Wednesday, he’s now hitting .264 (which is below his .275 career BA) with a pair of home runs and 10 RBIs. While some may yearn for more on the power side, Parra’s defense makes up for it, as he has turned into a very good outfielder. Of course, when we can, we provide video evidence.
– Reading this blog entry could make one feel bad for former Osprey Carlos Gonzalez (2003) and Jorge De La Rosa (1999-2000). De La Rosa ended up getting locked into a pitcher’s duel with Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels last night, but the Phillies ended up with the win. It was by far the best pitching performance not only of the season for the lefty, but in his career against the Phillies.
– If you’ve been wondering about Greg Smith (2005), and can’t find him on the Colorado Springs SkySox roster – there is a reason. The Rockies released Smith after Spring Training, and he ended up signing with the Grand Prairie AirHogs of the American Association. In two starts, the lefty, who was the 2005 Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year, is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA, including a complete-game shutout in his latest outing.
Minor League Recap:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces had an off-day on Wednesday, as they prepared for a road trip that begins in Albuquereue and continues to Round Rock.
– Double-A Mobile: Deuces were running wild for Paul Goldschmidt (2009) on Wednesday, with two singles, two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored in a 4-for-6 game as Mobile routed Carolina, 16-6. Ollie Linton (2008) singled, walked and scored three times, while Kyle Greene (2008) doubled, drove in a run and also scored thrice.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: In the 10-2 win over Ranch Cucamonga, Adam Eaton (2010) had a huge day – hitting a home run, triple, two singles, scored three times and drove in a pair of runs. Eaton’s now second in the Cal League in hitting (.395) and leads in on-base percentage (.500). Derek Eitel (2010), who was scheduled to make the start before the D-backs decided to place Duke there for the rehab assignment, pitched two innings and allowed a run on four hits, with two strikeouts. Taylor Sinclair (2008) and Yonata Ortega (2007) each pitched an inning of scoreless relief. David Nick (2009) added two hits and two runs scored, while Keon Broxton (2009) chipped in with a hit and a run.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks fell to Lansing, 5-3, on Wednesday. It was a good day for former Osprey pitchers – Jeff Shields (2010) had an effective start, with five innings pitched and three runs allowed, followed by two shutout innings of work by Daniel Taylor (2010), and Keith Cantwell (2009) added a shutout inning as well. At the plate, though, the lone former Osprey to get a hit was Roberto Rodriguez (2010), who came into the game after Bobby Stone was apparently injured during his first at-bat. No word on what the injury was, or how long, or if, it will keep him out of action.
Today’s Games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (25-15) at Albuquerque.
AA Mobile (23-15) at Tennessee.
A Adv. Visalia (19-21) at Rancho Cucamonga – Trevor Harden (2008) will get the start for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (17-23) vs. Lansing – Patrick Schuster (2009-10) gets the call for the Hawks tonight.
T-minus 40 days before the home opener, 38 days before the season opener, and less than a few hours before the final weekend that exists until mid-September. At least for most folks who work in short-season baseball … and, oh, by the way … it’s Friday the 13th.
– On the transaction front – former Osprey pitcher Enrique Burgos (2009) has been promoted to Class A South Bend from Extended Spring Training. Burgos takes the place of starting pitcher Tyler Green, who was placed on the disabled list on Thursday.
– The ever-improving Esmerling Vasquez (2004) has played his part in solidifying one of the achilles’ heels of the D-backs last season, it’s bullpen. That group has put together a solid first few weeks of the 2011 season.
– Evan Scribner (2007) has been pretty good for the San Diego Padres since his call-up last month. In four outings – including one against the D-Backs – “The Scribbler” (it comes from his Wikipedia page …) has a 1.13 ERA and seven strikeouts and two walks in eight innings of work. His hometown paper provides a bit of an update, and here’s more on his move to longer outings out of the bullpen.
– From the video archive … since we have people come and searching for info on Extended Spring Training guys, we share this with you. It’s a feature video of right-handed pitcher Robby Rowland in his high school days – playing basketball. Yeah, he was okay on the court …
– More draft notes from Nick Piecoro. Looks like the D-backs are going to have plenty of options with two of the first seven picks in next month’s draft.
– Sergio Santos (2002) continues to be a puzzle Major League hitters are struggling to solve. The former Osprey shortstop-turned-reliever continues to be in the closer’s mix for the Chicago White Sox.
Minor League Update:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces registered an 11-3 decision over Omaha on Thursday. Former Osprey bullpen mates Daniel Stange and Jordan Norberto (both 2006) combined for three innings of hitless relief.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears were held in check by Jacksonville in a 4-1 setback on Thusday. Charles Brewer (2009) allowed all four runs in his second start back from a concussion, while Bryan Henry (2007) pitched 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Mobile had just two hits, one of which was picked up by Taylor Harbin (2007).
– Class A Advanced Visalia: Eric Smith (2009) struggled once again – allowing 10 runs in four-plus innings – as the Rawhide lost to Bakersfield, 11-4. The bullpen was solid, allowing just a run in 5 2/3 innings – Adam Worthington (2009), Christian Beltre (2007), Taylor Sinclair (2008) and Yonata Ortega (2007) getting it done. David Nick (2009) had three hits, including two doubles, and two runs batted in, while Bobby Borchering (2009) added three hits, and Adam Eaton (2010) added a pair of safeties and a RBI, raising his batting average to .370 in the process.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks succumbed to a big inning once again and lost “Eike vs. Former Osprey II”. Kevin Eichhorn (2008-10) scattered six hits and allowed just two runs – one earned – with a walk and two strikeouts as West Michigan posted a 5-3 win. Roberto Rodriguez (2010) singled and doubled, while Bobby Stone (2008-10) was the only other former Osprey to collect a hit in the game. Ender Inciarte walked twice and stole a base, but was also picked off by Eichhorn. Eury De La Rosa (2009) pitched three innings of scoreless baseball in relief of Jeff Shields (2010), who took the loss.
Today’s games (and Osprey probables):
AAA Reno (22-13) vs. Omaha – Tom Layne (2007) gets the start for the Aces.
AA Mobile (19-13) at Jacksonville
A Adv. Visalia (17-17) vs. Bakersfield – Derek Eitel (2010) gets the ball tonight for the Rawhide on Ghostbusters Night.
A South Bend (15-19) at Bowling Green – No starter announced for this one, could be Burgos.
There are just 46 days before the season opens (and 48 days before the Opsrey home opener, with the living forms of the mascot already claiming their season tickets) and the signs are already going up around the outfield wall, which means things are starting to take shape at Ogren Park at Allegiance Field.
– A good piece on Goldie through the eyes of his hitting coach the past two seasons, Alan Zinter (2008 Osprey), as well as a scout that sees the improvements in his swing. Notice the change in Paul Goldschmidt’s nickname. Wonder how long that will last …
– How about one touch of the “enter” key … here’s the Snakepit report on Goldschmidt, and other former Osprey. Notice the spelling of the nickname … maybe we need to make a poll of this …
– Here’s a first-month review of the D-backs, including the encouraging start of former Osprey catcher Miguel Montero.
– Quick quiz – entering May, who lead the Colorado Rockies in wins and strikeouts? Ubaldo? Nope … former Osprey pitcher Jorge De La Rosa (1999-2000).
– The D-backs also made a minor-league roster move, sending Evan Frey to Triple-A Reno, and calling up former Osprey infielder Kyle Greene (2008) to Mobile. Greene was hitting .273 with six doubles, three home runs and 10 RBIs at Class A Advanced Visalia before his promotion.
Minor League Report:
– Triple-A Reno: Aces lost to Las Vegas, 4-3. Tom Layne (2007) allowed just a hit in his lone inning of work, and struck out two batters.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears got Bryan Shaw (2008) off of the hook – he allowed an eighth-inning run that tied the game – with a walk-off, 4-3 win over Tennessee on Wednesday. Jarrod Parker (2007) had an up-and-down start, allowing just two runs and three hits in six innings, but walked five batters. Parker also picked up his first hit and run scored at the plate. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits and a RBI, while Taylor Harbin (2007) added a double and a RBI. Goldschmidt was 0-for-1 with a run scored and three walks.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: David Nick (2009) doubled, while Rossmel Perez (2008) collected a base hit (he’s now hitting .380), scored a run and plated another as the Rawhide beat San Jose, 6-2. Visalia has now won four of the past five games. Taylor Sinclair (2008) worked two innings, allowing one run, and Adam Worthington (2009) pitched a scoreless ninth inning out of the Visalia bullpen.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks picked up a nice 4-1 win on the road at Dayton on Wednesday. Bradin Hagens (2009) went four-plus innings, was a victim of control issues – allowing four walks – but scattered five hits and allowed just a run. Blake Cooper (2010) pitched the final two innings to pick up his fourth save of the season. Other former Osprey were all over the 13-hit Hawks attack – Raywilly Gomez (2009) had two hits and two RBIs, Ender Inciarte (2009) had three hits, and Matt Helm (2009-10) added a triple and a run scored. Chris Jarrett (2010) singled, walked twice and scored a run, while Bobby Stone (2008-10) added a base knock.
Today’s probables (and former Osprey who are due to start):
AAA Reno (16-10) at Las Vegas
AA Mobile (16-9) vs. Tennessee
A Adv. Visalia (13-14) vs. San Jose – Mike Belfiore (2009) gets the start for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (9-16) at Dayton – JR Bradley (2010) gets the call for the Hawks tonight.
51 days until the home opener, 49 days until the season opener. We were going to write something cute here, but it’s Monday … however, the Osprey salute our troops all around the world who are willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free.
– John Hester is no longer in the D-backs organization. Hester, who caught for the 2006 Pioneer League Champion Osprey, was the “player to be named later” in the deal that sent Mark Reynolds to Baltimore. So Hester is now an Oriole, and heads to Norfolk of the International League.
– Good news on many of the DL guys (Chase Anderson and Charles Brewer (both 2009) …), but not-so-good news on Adam Eaton. “Spank” apparently took a pitch to the head and had symptoms of a concussion afterwards. He’s now out another week. The good news underneath the madness – Keon Broxton (2009) will fill in for Eaton in Visalia, and Ender Inciarte (2009) moves from Extended Spring Training to the South Bend roster.
– Lyle Overbay (1999) snapped out of a slump to help the Pirates win on Sunday.
– Cool story on former Osprey reliever Evan Scribner (2007), who made his Major League debut last week with the San Diego Padres.
– Interesting story on South Bend’s new playing surface. During the season, someone should e-mail Ben Catley (or now …) about his first experience with this type of surface – way back in 1994.
– Check out Joe Koschanky’s line in this extra-inning game. So if three strikeouts for a batter is a hat trick, and four is a golden sombrero (with five being platinum), what is seven Ks? We know what eight is – a Russ Laribee (more on Panel 2 of the linked story).
– Triple-A Reno: Tom Layne (2007) allowed just a run on three hits and a walk in 3 1/3 innings of relief to pick up the win for the Aces in a 10-8 decision over Tacoma on Sunday. Layne moved to 2-1 with the decision and lowered his ERA to 8.24.
– Double-A Mobile: Four former Osprey had at least one hit in the BayBears’ 6-4 win over Birmingham on Sunday. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 1-for-4 with a walk, as his average is now .347 for the season. Taylor Harbin (2007) went 2-for-5 with an RBI, while both Ollie Linton and Jake Elmore (both 2008 Osprey) had a hit and a run scored each. All four are hitting over .300 at the moment. Goldschmidt, by the way, also stole his third base of the season. Bryan Henry (2007) struggled in the start, but Bryan Shaw (2008) closed the door in the end, and his two innings of two-hit, three-strikeout scoreless relief netted his fifth save of the season.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: Eric Smith (2009) pitched well enough to get the win, while the Rawhide scored seven runs in the fourth inning to take down a 12-7 win over Modesto on Sunday. Diogenes Rosario (2009) and Taylor Sinclair (2008) pitched 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief behind Smith, who went six-plus innings to pick up the win. Bobby Borchering (2009) had two hits, including a three-run homer, while Keon Broxton (2009) had two hits and two runs scored. Rossmel Perez (2008) doubled and drove in a run, while Kyle Greene (2008) also had a hit for Visalia, who is 2-0 since manager Jason Hardtke (2009-10 hitting coach) was ejected in Friday’s one-run loss.
– Class A South Bend: Matt Helm (2009-10) had three hits and a RBI, while Ender Inciarte (2009) had three hits, a stolen base and a run scored in his SilverHawks’ debut as South Bend scored four times in the sixth and twice more in the seventh to earn an 8-5 win over Great Lakes. Bobby Stone (2008-10) doubled and scored twice, while Raywilly Gomez (2009) singled and walked twice in the win. The bullpen bailed out David Holmberg (2010), who struggled a bit, while Blake Cooper (2010) notched his third save with a scoreless ninth inning.
Todays’ Schedule (and fomer Osprey making starts):
AAA Reno (15-8) at Las Vegas
AA Mobile (14-8) at Birmingham
A Adv. Visalia (11-13) vs. Modesto. Derek Eitel (2010) gets the start tonight for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (8-14) vs. Great Lakes. Jeff Shields (2010) gets the ball tonight for the Hawks.
Countdowns – T-minus 58 days until the home opener, 56 days before the season opener, and don’t ask about the Osprey record book. The best guess is that it will be ready before the end of May. So that is like, what, 35 days or so … there we go, now that we have that all taken care of, time to play catch-up.
– Adam Eaton (2010 Osprey) is featured in this Nick Piecoro blog entry.
– Mr. Versatility for the Florida Marlins, Emilio Bonifacio (2003 Osprey), may see more time in left field after the Marlins made a roster move on Saturday. Bonifacio has been filling in both at third base and left field this season, and is hitting .317 with two RBIs and two stolen bases for the season.
– Pedro Ciriaco spent 24 hours on the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 25-man roster over the weekend. Ciriaco (2005) was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis, but was sent back the following day after the Pirates claimed Brandon Wood off of waivers. It’s Ciriaco’s second option – which means the Pirates will have one more left to use on him. Ciriaco is hitting just .143 in 15 games with Indianapolis.
– Wilkin Castillo (2004) had a career run-producing day for Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday. Castillo had struggled so far this season at the plate for the Braves, but doubled his hit total with the four-hit outburst.
– Any time we see a chance for fans of the feathered to vote for a current or former Osprey, we make sure we pass along the info … hence, the Reno Aces Bobblehead Vote, which runs through this coming Saturday (April 30). John Hester (2006) is among the candidates. Go now and vote!!!
Now on to the Daily Recap:
– Triple-A Reno: The Aces lost to Fresno, 12-5, on Sunday. A pair of former Osprey pitchers struggled in this one – Tom Layne (2007) allowed a pair of runs in 2 2/3 innings pitched for the Aces, raising his ERA to 8.22, while former Osprey Casey Daigle (2000) allowed a run in an inning and 2/3 of work, which actually lowered his ERA this season to 9.35.
– Double-A Mobile: The BayBears lost at Jackson, 15-3, on Sunday. Paul Goldschmidt (2009) had two hits and plated his 20th run of the month in the loss.
– Class A Advanced Visalia: The Rawhide dropped a 10-3 decision to San Jose on Saturday, then had a day off on Sunday. Bobby Borchering (2009) had a double and 2 RBIs, while Kyle Greene (2008) also doubled and drove in a run in a three-run first inning for the Rawhide.
– Class A South Bend: The SilverHawks split a twinbill with Fort Wayne on Saturday, which enabled the Hawks to take their first series win of the season. Bradin Hagens (2009) went six solid innings in the lidlifter to pick up his first win as a pro as a starter, while Blake Cooper (2010) notched his first save of the season in the 4-2 triumph. RayWilly Gomez (2009) and Bobby Stone (2008-10) each had a base hit for the Hawks in the win. In Game 2, JR Bradley (2010) had his best start of the season, but did not get much support from his offense in a 2-0 setback in the nightcap. Chris Jarrett (2010) tripled, but could not come around to score – it was one of just two Hawks hits.
Today’s Games (and former Osprey who will make starts):
AAA Reno (11-6) at Fresno
AA Mobile (11-6) at Jackson
A Adv. Visalia (6-11) at Bakersfield. Mike Belfiore (2009) will make his second start of the season for the Rawhide.
A South Bend (5-11) at Bowling Green. David Holmberg (2010) gets the ball for the Hawks.
Here’s hoping that people are nice to you on Friday. While it will be Opening Day for everyone else who did not play on Thursday in the Major Leagues, it will also be … April Fool’s Day. So keep your head on a swivel.
– A piece of Osprey information first – the annual Osprey Job Fair will be held on April 19, from 3-8 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Missoula. More information will be coming soon to the club’s website, www.missoulaosprey.com.
– As has been the case in Bird Droppings this month, anytime we mention a player would be in contention for a roster spot (Pedro Ciriaco and Jordan Norberto, anyone?), the opposite ends up happening. Now, we could call it a curse, but we’re citing other sources with this information, so we deny any and all bad ju-ju associated with such moves.
That being said, hours after we mentioned he was in the mix for a relief position in the bullpen, right-hander Esmerling Vasquez was sent to Triple-A Reno, despite having a solid spring.
– In Nick Piecoro’s blog, a scout asseses the D-backs player-by-player. The assessments include some good stuff on the beforementioned Norberto.
– Charles Brewer (2009) danced with perfection in his last spring outing, pitching 4 2/3 perfect innings in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ exhibition game with Monterry of the Mexican League. Brewer’s final line – 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0BB, 5K. Brewer allowed a single and back-to-back home runs before getting that final out of the fifth, plus also managed to lay down a sacrifice bunt. He also picked up the win in an 11-4 D-backs’ rout.
– Also playing in that game – Monterry third baseman Agustin Murillo, who played with the Osprey in 2003.
– The Cactus League finale – a 15-8 D-backs win over the Chicago Cubs – also featured former Osprey making appearances as the teams were in split-squad for the last time during Spring Training. Kyle Greene (2008), Bobby Stone (2008-09-10) and Roidany Aguila (2009-10), who drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, played in the win, while Vasquez pitched an inning of one-hit, two-strikeout relief.
– Former Osprey catcher Richie Rowland (2010) did not stay “retired” long. After ending his term with the D-backs, the son of former Major League backstop Rich Rowland has signed a contract to play with Traverse City of the Frontier League. Richie’s younger brother, Robby, will be in Extended Spring Training, for now, with the D-backs.
– One other former Osprey let out where they were headed within their social media circles on Wednesday. Third baseman Matt Helm is headed to South Bend, and will spend a lot of his time in the lineup at third base. Helm was forced to learn first base and the outfield in South Bend last season to make way for prospects Bobby Borchering and Matt Davidson, and moved back to third when he rejoined the Osprey. Helm, just in case you forgot, played with the Osprey in the 2009 postseason, and then joined the club for the second half of the 2010 campaign.
– One other note – official rosters for the minor-league affiliates will not be released until Saturday or Sunday. Once we have an idea, we will post the information here, and have a complete look at all of the former Osprey placed on full-season rosters in a story on Monday, which will be send to the local media and appear on the team’s website.